1/25/2006

DO YOU HAVE the AUDACITY to DOUBT MY VERACITY...

I love language. Ever since I was a little kid, I can remember playing with words and writing them down and remembering great expressions. Do you remember asking friends, "DO YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY TO DOUBT MY VERACITY, TO INSINUATE THAT I PREVARICATE?? IF SO, YOU HAVE THE MOST PUGNACIOUS DISPOSITION, FAR BEYOND MY PERSONAL COMPREHENSION! Boy, did I think I was cool because i knew the meaning of each of those words and besides, they sounded so wonderful.

So, now when I come across language that blooms in my ears, I try to write it down (unfortunately, at my present stage of life, memorizing and remembering aren't always possible). I happened to pick up one of my daughter's books, Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez, written by
Richard Rodriguez. It's a book about the immigrant experience, specifically the newcomers adjusting to the gringos, their ways and especially their language. He spoke of the comfort that being among those who spoke your language would bring him as a child. He wrote, "A family member would say something to me and I would feel myself specially recognized.... I would feel embraced by the sounds of their words. It became the language of joyful return" Language can do that.

Rodriguez makes the case against the use of Bilingual Education, but what interested me for the moment was his own use of the language that became his own as he became an American. This is how he put it when still a child listening to English and trying to speak it. "Tongues explored the edges of words, especially the fat vowels" What a GREAT way to express what it feels like learning the new language, English.

7 comments:

Doctor Marco said...

The world of euphemisms is something related to it and I loved it... in Spanish. Unfortunaltely, I lack the vocabulary to use them in the same way is in English

Sherril said...

Marcos,
Gracias for your comment. Do you realize that the book, to which I was referencing was written by a Spanish speaking author from Mexico who also loves language and was able to make English, as well as Spanish his own. Soy siempre feliz cuando usted visita mi blog.
Sherril

Diane S. said...

I also love language. Words that roll on the tongue, linger, and then dissolve. Words that bounce, words that explode. Words that bloom. I think that's why I love poetry, the careful crafting of the words, the fine edges, the smooth and rolling curves.

I read "Hunger of Memory" in college for a sociology course. Richard Rodriguez was eloquent in his assessment of language as both a barrier and vehicle.

Sherril said...

Diane,
Language as "both a barrier and a vehicle"...what a great use of language to describe what it can be and do. I haven't actually read Rodriguez's book, beyond the first chapter or two, but I just loved that one phrase he used..."tongues exploring the edges of words, especially the fat vowels?...mmmm, that is just so very good.

Doctor Marco said...

Language as a barrier and as a vehicle...another phrase which support "the dual nature of things"

Sherril said...

Good observation, Marcos. Duality..yin & yang...male & female....vehicle & barrier...and the list goes on....
Sherril

sherril blackmon said...

I love words, too. Of more immediate interest is the way you spell your name.

Me, too. I am Sherril Blackmon and I am male. You are the first person with the spelling.